On Friday (Aug. 31), Eminem put fans’ earbuds to work this Labor Day weekend when he surprise-dropped Kamikaze. The 13-track soundscape swiftly garnered the attention of the masses with its unapologetic/controversial lyrics and its non-comparison to the Detroit native’s previous project, Revival (2017).
After calling out certain names (Lil Xan, Joe Budden, Tyler the Creator), listeners were able to take an even closer listen to decipher the samples woven throughout the album. Eminem also displayed certain flows that are dominating hip-hop today on songs like “Not Alike” featuring Royce Da 5’9. The instrumental sounds similar to BlocBoy JB‘s “Look Alive” featuring Drake, and both of the aforementioned songs are produced by Tay Keith.
Read VIBE‘s list to get reacquainted or discover the beats that lie underneath.
Producer(s): Ronny J, Eminem, Illadaproducer
Songwriter(s): Eminem, Ronald Spence Jr., Luis Resto, Ray Fraser, Katorah Marrero (Young M.A.), Matthew Jacobson
Sample: “OOOUUU” by Young M.A. (2016)
The first track off Kamikaze features a sample of Young M.A.’s 2016 hit, “OOOUUU.” Although Eminem unleashed an onslaught of words for specific rappers, Young M.A. viewed her song as a moment for her to “relax” and not think too much “about the bars or the punchlines.” In an interview with Genius, the Brooklynite said, “I didn’t want some big push behind it, I was just like this is a record I just want to put out. From there, I guess it was catchy and it was different from me.”
Producer(s): Mike WiLL Made It, Jeremy Miller
Songwriter(s): Eminem, Jeremy Miller, Kendrick Lamar, Asheton Hogan, Michael Williams (Mike WiLL Made It), Anthony Tiffith, Jordan Jenks, Jordan Carter (Playboi Carti), Symere Woods (Lil Uzi Vert)
Sample: “HUMBLE” by Kendrick Lamar (2017), “Wokeuplikethis” by Playboi Carti feat. Lil Uzi Vert (2017)
Eminem sampled Kendrick Lamar‘s “HUMBLE” (in the third verse) and Playboi Carti‘s “Wokeuplikethis” (during the chorus) to get his message of triumph across. It’s fitting that Mike WiLL-produced “Greatest” since the Georgia native also crafted Lamar’s “HUMBLE.”
Producer(s): Eminem, Luis Resto
Songwriter(s): Eminem, Luis Resto, Mario Resto
Sample: “Spend Some Time” by Eminem (2004)
As noted by Twitter user @SanaStan_ “Stepping Stone” presumably pays homage to Eminem’s track “Spend Some Time.” The latter melody was featured on his Encore album and sampled “Self Seeking Man” by Spooky Tooth. “Stepping Stone” also receives a production/songwriting credit from Luis Resto, who produced “Spend Some Time.”
Producer(s): Mike WiLL Made It, Eminem
Songwriter(s): Eminem, Bobby Ervin, James Smith (LL Cool J), Tim Suby, Dwayne Simon
Sample: “I’m Bad” by LL Cool J (1987)
Thirty-one years ago, LL Cool J made his impact on the hip-hop industry known with the single “I’m Bad.” The melody summed up the boom-bap sound of the late 80s, plus lyrics that stroked LL Cool J’s ego, similar to Eminem’s delivery on the high-flying title track.
Producer(s): Swish Allnet, S1, Lonestarrmuzik, Illadaproducer
Songwriter(s): Eminem, Erik Bodin, Fredrik Wallin, Hakan Wirenstrand, Yukimi Nagano, R. Sheldon, Larry Griffin Jr., Maurice Nichols, Ray Fraser
Sample: “Seconds” by Little Dragon (2011)
Eminem remained in tune with Little Dragon’s minimalist instrumental, and its dark backdrop of a bass line seamlessly fits the rapper’s on-wax persona.